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LU hosts STEM Outreach for local teachers

STEM participantsThe Lamar University College of Engineering hosted 85 local teachers for the second STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Outreach conference January 12.  The conference, sponsored by BASF TOTAL Petrochemicals LLC, is held annually to partner with teachers from the area to provide seminars focusing on innovative scientific topics and related applications to inspire the next generation of engineers and scientists. 

“Working with teachers is an excellent way to serve K-12 students and increase the STEM educational pipeline,” said Deidra Mayer, director of marketing for the LU College of Engineering.  “The idea is to have an outstanding day of interactive experiential learning while exposing teachers to advanced sciences and their applications from a Carnegie Doctoral Research University.”

STEM conferenceLamar professors led workshop sessions on topics that included presentations on nanotechnology, robotics and common household radioactive materials.  Also discussed were the university’s expectations for incoming students interested in pursuing majors in chemistry, biochemistry, forensics and engineering.  Conference attendees were also treated to a demonstration of cutting-edge 3D printing equipment.

“For me, this conference is so important because it emphasizes what our students need to know to be successful in college,” said Joe Parish, a physics instructor at West Brook High School.  “The real eye-opener for me was the reminder of the importance of mathematics to all these various fields.  We need to stress to our students math is a tool to be used and not a bludgeon to be avoided.”

Lamar partnered with the Region 5 Education Service Center to identify teachers in grades 9-12 who teach math, science or engineering classes.  In addition to 9-12 teachers, the conference is also open to teachers at the 6-8 grade level as space allows. 

For more information about this and other outreach efforts by the College of Engineering, contact erin.lovelady@lamar.edu or call 409-880-8714.